You could almost hear the cheers as word spread via Facebook, phone, Nextdoor and over fences about the removal and reconfiguration of the bollards on Hawthorne Avenue and Beach Terrace.
The poles were placed to make a pedestrian plaza next to the boardwalk and adjacent to the municipal pier as part of the Community Block Development Grant(CBDG). The $747,000 grant was to help remove blight and update the downtown business district in Colonial Beach.
Businesses in the area from Hunan Diner to Denson’s Grocery took advantage of the revolving loan program for facade improvements.
Installation of the bollards stopped traffic in the area and ended a long time right-of-passage for new drivers in town. On Facebook, Cathy Rice Reed said, of the way you cruise the point, “Always past Hunan’s, left on Hawthorne, straight to the town pier so you get the FULL effect of our lovely beach when you make the turn. Then continue around the point toward the Yacht Club and back up the Monroe Bay side! When they put up those stupid posts there you totally missed the best view of the beach!”
Wednesday evening in a 30 minute period more than 40 cars drove past the pier, on their way to cruise the point, again. Mollie Rader actually posted a video of her driving through the former pedestrian plaza as she excitedly narrated it.
In an announcement sent out that evening, it was said, “Please be advised that by the authority of the Acting Town Manager, Mayor Eddie Blunt, effective today, Hawthorn Street from Washington Avenue to the Boardwalk will continue to be one way all the way to the Boardwalk. Vehicles will be able to drive to the end of Hawthorn and turn right onto Beach Terrace towards the Cannon. The Pedestrian Plaza at the base of the Town Pier has been reconfigured and the bollards have been temporarily stored and will be re-installed in a new configuration.”
In a conversation with the Westmoreland News, Blunt said that the poles would be reconfigured in a semicircle from where the three on Beach Terrace remain back to the boardwalk. This will allow traffic to go by but still allow for a pedestrian plaza of sorts.